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Son involved in a prang


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On Tuesday my 25 year old son was driving home from work at about 5pm, and because of the time of the year was finding everywhere virtually gridlocked. So he decided to get off the main route and proceed via the minor roads.

He needed to enter a side road which involved crossing the opposite carraigeway and was indicating right whilst wating to do so. The traffic on the opposite side was stationary and a 4X4 had left the road junction clear and waved my son across. When he was fully in the side road the 4X4 moved forward a bit - perhaps because those ahead of him had done so, perhaps because he didn't want to leave the way free for anything coming out of the side road to pull out in front of him.

It would appear the car behind used that bit of movement to turn left into the side road and hit my son's car in the passenger door (as only 2 door around the middle of the car).

There are a variety of issues relating to the road which forms a triangle with another part of the same road which also has an entrance onto the same main road. Had TP wished to turn into this road they could have done so at the first junction but didn't, instead using a junction which by direction favours those turning from the otherside carraigeway. I personally feel it was a snap decision made because of the traffic situation, and in their quest to move down the side of the 4X4 as soon as a gap appeared, they had failed to consider anybody else being in the road, and if it had been a pedestrian crossing they wouldn't have stood a chance.

Details were taken and when my son got home he rang the insurers who coincidentally also insure the TP and was told he was at fault as he had crossed the path of oncoming traffic to enter the side road. Accepting this would mean him paying the excess and losing two years of his NCD which has only just started making his insurance costs realistic. I also spoke to the claims handler and advised him that we disputed his liability and was told it was the law so as in rear damage shunts you have no redress.

As far as I am concerned if his fault lies with him crossing oncoming traffic, that only has a validity if the traffic is oncoming when he made his manoeuvre, but it wasn't, everything was stationary in front and behind the 4X4 and the only movement that occured was once he was safely in the side road.

Should we fight? Do we really have a leg to stand on?

Edited by nessa100
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based on what you've said... I would fight it.

 

you were advised wrongly on the phone, it's not "the law" that in a rear damage shunt that it's always their fault.

(for example what if the front car reversed into you?) it's not clear cut like that.

 

I'd phone them again and tell them the story again.

they should send you a form where you can describe exactly what happened. possibly providing photos, of the damage, of drawn maps of the road.

 

don't write guesses like "the guy was probably frustrated by traffic and so made a snap decision to enter the side road.

 

but do indicate that he was able to turn into the side road via a sort of slip road, and decided not to, before entering at a different place. you should also make it clear that he was able to pull in front of traffic as the traffic was stationary and he was given a right of way by another driver.

 

the question is really... how far do you want to push it?

how confident are you that it happened exactly as your son has told you, (Was the traffic really at a standstill,) the description all sounds really measured, if the traffic was that slow or at a complete stop, how come he wasn't able to complete his manoeuvre before someone drove into the side of him.

 

Are you really confident that that's what happened. do you have legal cover on your insurance? do you really want to go to court...

 

Whatever happens, he'll be declaring either a fault, or non fault accident on his renewals for the next few years. both result in premium rises.

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Can you expand on how you regard the TP hitting your son's car in the middle, being a rear end collision?

 

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

 

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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It is in fact very difficult to describe the road layout without drawing it and if, as the claims handler did you refer to googlemaps even that is not truly representative. As you say you should be able to state your case and draw pictures. My son did take photos but it was dark and he only had his mobile which has no flash so was a complete waste of time.

The fact is his car was completely in the side road - he wasn't doing any speed himself as had shown caution to the potential for pedestrians, but all the same he had completed his manoeuvre, had he not done so the 4X4 would have hit him when he moved forward.

The TP had failed to notice him on the other side of the road whilst sat in traffic indicating to turn right, failed to see him move, and failed to see any part of his car as it hurtled towards his side. If she (as it happens) was so blind to what was going on in front of her, then clearly she also wouldn't have seen if a car in front of the 4 X 4 had also decided to get off the main road and I suspect the outcome would have been the same but the liability not.

I used to work in insurance and non fault claims do not affect your NCD. All an insurance company can do is not provide any part of any negotiating discounts to either get or retain your business. My son could potentially have to pay an additional £300+ next year and he'll pay again the following year and it won't be until the third year he'll be back to square one.

As far as the traffic is concerned, yes it was stationary. It is slow most evenings during rush hour, but at this time of the year it grinds to a halt because there is only 2 major routes out of the town, which even if you choose to go "the pretty way" still involves you using one or t'other for part of your journey.

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used to work in insurance and non fault claims do not affect your NCD.
read what I said again.

I said no fault claims affect the premium. I also said he'll have to declare accidents, fault/non fault for the next 3 - 5 years as well...

 

The TP had failed to notice him on the other side of the road whilst sat in traffic indicating to turn right, failed to see him move, and failed to see any part of his car as it hurtled towards his side. If she (as it happens) was so blind to what was going on in front of her, then clearly she also wouldn't have seen if a car in front of the 4 X 4 had also decided to get off the main road and I suspect the outcome would have been the same but the liability not.
on the other hand, your son failed to notice them turning left.

and failed to give them their right of way.

 

I'm still finding it really hard to understand how your son could have completed his manoeuvre, (like you say). and yet a car that was apparently unable to go into the side road because of the 4x4 which had stopped before the road blocking access to the road to the 3rd party letting your son have way, then after your son is in the road, they pull forward over the junction (your son must be fully in the road at this point else the 4x4 would have hit them..., then the 3rd party is able to go into the side road, and somehow hit your son in the side of his car, after he's completed his manoeuvre?

 

but if he'd completed his manoeuvre, (and was fully in the road) how come the other car could even get to the side of his car?

 

this is why I say... how much do you trust your sons explanation of what happened. was the traffic really stopped, or was it just really slow so he nipped into the junction quick. did the 4x4 stop and signal that he could go, or was the 4x4 sort of rolling forward really slowly sort of trying to move with traffic, but sort of trying to be nice and let someone in front of them?

 

 

you see what I mean?

When it comes to convincing people of what happened, the 3rd party will say, it was my right of way, I started into the road and was cut up by your son.

 

whilst your son has a convoluted story about someone blocking access to the junction, waving him on, moving on after he's completed his manoeuvre, (completed his turn meaning he's fully in the road) then getting hit from the side by the guy who's path he crossed and who did have the right of way.

 

 

like I say... it's an expensive way forward whatever way you go... you can fight this as much as you like even lay 100% blame on the 3rd party... sons insurance will still increase

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Oh and Sailor Sam I wasn't saying it was a rear end collision, only that the Claims Handler was trying to tell me that certain circumstances designate fault to a specific party i.e. somebody could brake suddenly to look in a shop window and somebody behind would be at fault if they hit the front car. In this instance he was stating that because my son had crossed in front of oncoming traffic, which wasn't oncoming as everything was stopped, that automatically makes him liable.

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danielr I wish there was some way I could reproduce how the road looks here as think you'd see how everybody could be where they were. He says he did look as was mindful of pedestrians which he wouldn't have been able to see through the 4X4. However, as he entered the road nobody else could have been there because of the 4X4. The problem is that the junction is not a nice staright one but one which has a curve and the movement of the 4X4 as soon as my son was across allowed this driver to slip into the side road following this curve-as I say impossible to explain without drawings. Think we need to print off the satelite stuff and send to the insurer.

Yes even as a non fault claim he may lose out but that's nothing compared to NCD. Besides if you change companies it is easy enough to get a quote without a claim, then with a non fault, and then with a fault to see the difference - if insurers were too greedy I would expect the FSA to be on their case.

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you should also make it clear that he was able to pull in front of traffic as the traffic was stationary and he was given a right of way by another driver.

 

no driver can give another "right of way" over 3rd party vehicles. He may only indicate that you may proceed before him. The responsibilty still lies with the driver to ensure all other aspects of the manuoevre are safe

 

Whatever happens, he'll be declaring either a fault, or non fault accident on his renewals for the next few years. both result in premium rises.

Not necessarily. Declaring a "non fault" accident should not result in an increased premium (although we know it sometimes does). It will become very important whether the accident is declared as fault or nonfault when the insurance company determines next year's premium.
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Oh and Sailor Sam I wasn't saying it was a rear end collision, only that the Claims Handler was trying to tell me that certain circumstances designate fault to a specific party i.e. somebody could brake suddenly to look in a shop window and somebody behind would be at fault if they hit the front car. In this instance he was stating that because my son had crossed in front of oncoming traffic, which wasn't oncoming as everything was stopped, that automatically makes him liable.

 

Ahh, I see. Well as Crem points out, another driver cannot give 'right of way' to another although they can 'give way' which are 2 completely different things. I can kind of see the scenario you describe but cannot understand how the TP can collide with your son's car if he had completed the manoeuvre. Surely your son would of been 'off down the road' as it were, ahead of the TP if the 4 x 4 driver had to move forward to allow the TP to progress. Did the 4 x 4 driver stop and offer to be a witness by any chance? I certainly think you are going to need one to back up your son's version of the incident.

 

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

 

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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I suppose the curvature at the entrance to the road played a part and the movement by the 4X4 as well, maybe they flew round the corner (who knows except them) and yes perhaps he should have been off down the road, but then we have always discouraged him from racing about in the same way as we banned him from having any distractions like music in the car until he'd gained the experience of driving on his own after passing his test. If he had been a bit faster and the 4X4 a bit slower in moving on it is doubtful this could have happened.

Unfortunately no he didn't get any witnesses - he rang me and I tried to talk him through what he needed to do but he was rattled by the experience and they (husband and wife) were also talking at him (apparently they didn't know what to do either), and some of what I tried to get him to do got lost in translation. He took photos but not really of the scene as I said, but the damage to the cars. Yet in other respects he was really sensible - like putting on his hazards (they didn't) and wearing a high visability jacket.

I suppose all we can do is perhaps write out what happened and do some drawings and see if that does any good. Just don't feel it is fair on him to lose his NCD without a bit of a fight. It just seems sometimes that people can do all sorts of bizarre things on the road and others pay the price. Some years ago my husband had a transit fly into the back of him whilst he was in stationary traffic (waiting for a car to turn right across the opposite carraigeway as it happens). He saw in his mirror that he was bearing down on him fast and also that he was leaning forward playing with the radio or something, but there was nowhere for him to go to get out of the way. Rather than stop, this bloke took off overtaking the cars in front and turning into that side road driving on the wrong side of the carraigeway and the set of bollards down the middle. We had a witness and the reg and reported it to the police and the insurance company and neither did anything about it. The police apparently visited him 6 months later, he said he didn't recall hitting anybody and they just accepted it. Although treated as a non fault (our bonus was protected anyway) our car was never the same again after being smashed up the rear.

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